Panayoti Kelaidis represents the Gardens in educational, professional and promotional endeavors as an expert in horticulture, science and art. He also acts as a liaison to botanical societies, professional horticulture organizations and green industry members, all while serving as a resource to staff, volunteers and members. Panayoti has worked at the Gardens for 30 years in many capacities. Most recently, he was the Curator of Plant Collections, where he supervised the curatorial staff and directed inventory, maintenance, interpretation and integrity for over 15,000 kinds of living plants. His far-reaching knowledge of horticulture in the mountainous and dry climate of Colorado has aided Plant Select®, a plant introduction program where Panayoti has helped discover and name numerous plants, as well as disseminate nearly 10 million plants. Panayoti designed the plantings for the world-renowned Rock Alpine Garden and helped implement Wildflower Treasures, South African Plaza and the Romantic Gardens among many other gardens at Denver Botanic Gardens.
Panayoti has helped attract, plan and stage over a dozen regional, national and international gardening conferences in Denver. He is a past president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American Rock Garden Society as well as the American Penstemon Society, and serves on many professional horticulture society boards. He is also the recipient of the Award of Excellence from National Garden Clubs, the most prestigious award given by the organization. He also received the 2000 Arthur Hoyt Scott Medal from Swarthmore College, which is generally considered the highest honor in American horticulture. He has delivered speeches in over 70 cities throughout the world on a wide range of horticultural topics and has published over 100 gardening works.